Captain Zhao Yanquan, commander of a People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer and national lawmaker, said on Monday that the Navy's escort missions to the Gulf of Aden have offered protection for more than 6,700 Chinese and foreign ships.
Zhao said that the PLA Navy's escort flotillas have always been a trusted force in the pirate-plagued waters and have expressed China's determination and willingness to safeguard world peace and common prosperity.
The captain recalled his personal experiences during two escort missions, saying he was encouraged and driven by a sense of honor and responsibility.
The officer made his remarks at Beijing's Great Hall of the People before attending a plenary meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress.
After his graduation from the Dalian Naval Academy in 1996, Zhao began to serve in the Navy and has been commander of several combat vessels, including a Type 052D destroyer and a Type 054A frigate. He is now the commander of an advanced destroyer.
The navy began to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia in December 2008. Over the past years, it has sent over 100 ships and nearly 30,000 naval personnel to serve on escort operations.
Currently, the 35th escort flotilla, consisting of a destroyer, a frigate and a supply ship, is in the Gulf of Aden performing escort tasks.